“Maybe next summer?”: Asking Torontonians if sports are safe for athletes and fans

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For several weeks the National Hockey League has been playing three games per day in two Canadian cities; Toronto and Edmonton.

European soccer leagues (English, French, German, Italian) have all recently completed their COVID-19-delayed seasons.

The UFC took perhaps the shortest coronavirus break, and have hosted events in Florida, the United Arab Emirates, and at their own private facility, the UFC Apex Center in Las Vegas.

All of these sports leagues including the recently re-started NBA season have seen little to no coronavirus outbreaks within teams.

The same cannot be said however of Major League Baseball, with some teams reporting as many as 17 positive cases at a time.

Regardless, the vast majority of sports teams have done tremendous jobs quarantining their athletes, despite many NFL players fearing a return to play in October, and opting out.

The streets of Toronto continued a trend of seemingly agreeing with what the status quo is, with a few citizens disagreeing with the idea.

Perhaps surprisingly, some felt it important to mention what sports can do for cities economically, as well as what the mere option of watching sports can do for the psyche of the many people sheltered in place or without work due to the virus.

An overwhelming majority (perhaps 90 per cent) of those interviewed were against any sort of audience being present at the events.

Reasons for this ranged anywhere from building limitations, to social distancing, to generally not liking the idea and thinking it's just not time yet.

However, there were some outlying and in my opinion, grossly hyperbolic  answers that suggested it should be upwards of a year, even two years, before spectators can return.

About the same amount said it doesn't make a difference, choosing the path of 'coronavirus is not that big of a deal' in their reasoning.

Nevertheless, if pro sports weren't currently being played, and the question remained the same, I'd imagine Vegas odds to be 3/1 (very likely, for the non-gambling crowd) that most people would agree with the system currently in place.

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